Professional Development

PEM Teacher Institute tour

Professional Development for Teachers

Come to PEM to get inspired, connect with colleagues and advance your classroom teaching with workshops, artist demonstrations, open houses and other opportunities especially for teachers. Attend an evening session or apply to the PEM Teacher Institute for an immersive summer experience. Check back here throughout the year for the latest teacher programs.

The museum also offers day-long professional development workshops for schools and districts on topics such as object-based teaching, interdisciplinary learning, creative expression and writing inspired by art. Customized workshops are available to groups of 10 or more teachers in the museum or at your school.

Visiting another time? New England educators always receive free admission! Just show your ID. Other educators planning to bring students to the museum can contact us (see below) to arrange a free visit.

To sign-up for monthly email updates or find out more information, contact or 978-542-1546.

Save the Date!

PEM Teacher Institute
Artist as Innovator

Monday-Friday, July 20-24, 2015 | 8:30 am-4:15 pm
Optional follow-up session: Saturday, October 3, 9:15 am - 5 pm

How do artists develop and present their ideas in creative form? What solutions do artists develop to express themselves through art? How is artistic innovation relevant to our world today and what can we learn from artists, their creative process and their authentic integration of ideas and approaches from across disciplines?

Explore this and so much more this summer as we discover new techniques for integrating the arts and fostering innovation. Challenge yourself as a learner and find inspiration, while gathering fresh ideas and pedagogical strategies for your classroom. Collaborate with fellow teachers, create art and contribute to resource materials during this invigorating week of professional development.

This summer's institute features leaders from education, science and art, including nationally renowned arts integration expert Julia Marshall. Marshall's work examines contemporary art and art-centered research as they relate to art education, incorporating art within the academic curriculum, and the intersection between creativity and learning. She will lead a discussion about integrating contemporary art into classroom teaching as well as present a hands-on workshop examining frameworks through which we can examine art and objects in classrooms.

Delve into PEM's collection and special exhibitions with curators and educators to discover how our programs connect to classroom learning and promote creativity, critical thinking and global awareness.

The summer's exhibitions include Stickwork: Patrick Dougherty—a site-specific architectural structure made of saplings—and American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood—an examination of the artist, his cinematic style of painting and his reinvention of national narratives for 20th-century America. In addition, the institute includes an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the fall 2015 exhibition Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen. (Watch this three-minute New York Times video to see what all the buzz is about around Jansen's many-legged, larger-than-life kinetic sculptures.)

The application deadline has passed.

$150 participant fee (complimentary parking provided). Earn 67.5 hours PDP credit, including follow-up assignments and participation in the October 3 follow-up session (or equivalent). 35 PDPs awarded for the summer course alone. Graduate credit option available.

K-12 educators in all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Application due Monday, April 6. Space is limited. Applicants will be notified by April 10 as to whether they were accepted. Preferential selection for two or more teachers applying from the same school or district. For more information contact us at or 978-542-1546.

Ongoing Professional Development Opportunities for Educators

Interdisciplinary Learning in the Museum and Classroom

Explore interdisciplinary learning against the backdrop of PEM's exhibitions and collection. Inspired by works of art that link the visual arts to a variety of other disciplines, teachers take part in lively discussions, make connections to classroom teaching and practice developing interdisciplinary lesson plans with other participants.

Write at the Museum! Making Objects Come Alive to Promote Literacy Skills

How can objects tell a story? Look at objects in the museum’s collection as inspiration for writing and discover how object-based learning can be applied to classroom teaching. Learn how to view objects with students and how students can develop a variety of written responses to works of art.

Discover the Art of Object-based Teaching!

Objects and artwork come to life through the use of open-ended questioning strategies. Explore the educational potential of objects in PEM’s collection and learn how using objects in your classroom can engage students in inquiry and collaborative learning while building observation and communication skills.